Tag Archives: negotiation

John Redwood thinks the UK can control its fish. John Redwood thinks he is Aquaman

John Redwood: I’m quite fond of this image of him, clearly broadcasting from his home planet.

Just when the Conservatives really need someone to win back their credibility, John Redwood turns up and starts talking about fish.

As UK-EU trade talks resumed in London, with an attempt to resolve differences on fishing quotas high on the agenda, Redwood tweeted this:

“Controlling our own fish”?

They’re not like dogs! You can’t put a salmon on a lead. You can’t put a harness on a halibut. And I’m sure a cod couldn’t care less what John Redwood thinks it should do.

Maybe fish behave differently on Vulcan.

Maybe Redwood has tired of being compared to a character from Star Trek and wants to take on a new role…

There have been attempts to grapple with the underlying issue…

… but not many.

This Writer wouldn’t be surprised if Tory desperation has reached such a point that they’re hoping we’ll be too busy laughing at Redwood to notice when they bugger up the bargaining – again.

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Why did Johnson say trade talks with the EU had ended – only to restart them within days?

Duper’s delight: This is the smile Boris Johnson wears when he is lying. Was he wearing it when he announced that talks on a trade deal with the EU had been called off?

This looks like a set-up, to me.

Last week, Boris Johnson and his Tory government said that a “no deal” Brexit was now inevitable because talks with the EU had broken down irretrievably.

“Really?” I thought at the time. “Are they going to come back in a few days time and say there’s been a breakthrough, it’s all back on and they’re making a history (it’s always historic) deal?”

And lo! it is coming to pass:

The UK is “ready to welcome the EU team” to continue negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal, says No 10.

The two sides’ chief negotiators, Lord David Frost and Michel Barnier, spoke on the phone earlier after talks stalled last week.

Following the conversation, Downing Street said the pair had “jointly agreed a set of principles for handling this intensified phase of talks”.

The intention is to create some more public goodwill for the Tories, who have realised that any good feeling among the general population of the UK has dwindled away to nothing.

Of course, being Tories, they can’t generate it by actually doing something good; it had to be with a stupid trick.

Anybody can fabricate an emergency of their own making and then solve it.

If a deal comes from the new negotiations, it is because the UK and the EU were always going to make one – not because the talks have been saved.

Anything else is just more smoke and mirrors from the Tory liars.

That’s my interpretation of it.

Source: Brexit: UK ‘ready to welcome EU’ to continue trade talks – BBC News

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Johnson’s overcooked ‘oven-ready deal’ has blown up in his face. Why is he happy about it?

From Twitter: the caption was “Get in, losers. We’re driving it off a No Deal cliff.”

It seems Boris Johnson is getting exactly the kind of Brexit his backers wanted: ‘no deal’, meaning disaster for the UK economy.

He is putting on his sad face at the moment but that’s not fooling me, and it shouldn’t fool you.

His claim that Brussels has “abandoned” the ambition of a free trade deal is as empty as his soul:

Sky News has this to say:

The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator has told his European counterpart not to come to London on Monday to resolve stalled talks, after the prime minister warned it was time to “get ready” to leave without a deal.

Isn’t this the same prime minister who said there was an ‘oven ready’ trade deal, only last year?

And didn’t he – also – say that failure to secure a deal would be a failure of statecraft?

So isn’t he admitting that he is a failed prime minister? And shouldn’t we be demanding his resignation and replacement at the earliest possible opportunity?

Johnson is, of course, doing his best to blameshift responsibility for his failure onto the EU:

Mr Johnson said in a dramatic intervention that “there doesn’t seem to be any progress coming from Brussels”.

He told businesses and hauliers to “get ready” for there to be no free trade deal.

But this is clearly nonsense, in the light of what he – and other Brexiters – have been saying since before the EU referendum in 2016.

They have spent years trying to convince us that the EU nations would be desperate to forge a deal with the UK that would put us at an advantage.

Instead, it seems we’re going to have to pay high tariffs to sell into a market that was free before Johnson and his cronies convinced 17 million of us to vote the entire nation out.

And remember, Johnson won last year’s general election on this – claiming that he would “Get Brexit Done” and it would create a golden future for the UK.

Well. At best he was mistaken. At worst he was lying.

This Writer remembers the claims that he was in cahoots with a cartel of wealthy hedge fund bosses who had bet heavily on the UK leaving without a trade deal, and on this causing the end of a large number of major UK businesses.

Doesn’t this seem more likely now – especially as Johnson has intervened personally to stop any further negotiations, a month and a half before the transition period ends?

It all seems highly suspicious to me.

And I’m not the only one, it seems:

(Incredible that Boris Johnson’s selfishness has actually put me on the same side as Dan Hodges…)

It seems likely the decision to end negotiations and prepare for ‘no deal’ could also mean the end of the United Kingdom as we know it:

Johnson tried to regain some of the credibility he has lost by suggesting that the UK was headed for an “Australia-style deal”…

He said the UK’s relationship with the EU could be more like the one Brussels has with Australia, which will mean tariffs being introduced on goods between the UK and the 27 other EU countries.

… but it seems he’s either badly mistaken (yet again) or trying to pull over our eyes (yet again):

Perhaps this is the most accurate comment of the day:

Source: Brexit: Michel Barnier told to stay home after Boris Johnson says EU ‘abandoned free trade deal’ | Politics News | Sky News

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Andrew Bridgen destroys his government’s credibility on EU trade talks

Andrew Bridgen: winner of this week’s “Inverse Genius” award.


Everyone with any political nous in the UK has been laughing at eurosceptic Andrew Bridgen after he swallowed both feet (metaphorically) in a Channel 4 News interview.

Discussing his Fuhrer Boris Johnson’s plan to renege on the EU withdrawal agreement that he signed in January, Bridgen said – well, see for yourself:

The reaction on Twitter has been universal:

https://twitter.com/cbailiss/status/1303110907732602883

What a… typical Conservative MP.

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High Court takes next step in Riley libel case – but why hasn’t she tried negotiation?

The High Court has ordered the legal teams acting for myself and Rachel Riley to move onto the next stage of her libel action against me.

This means we have to fill out a ‘directions questionnaire’ containing details including, for example, the names of any witnesses we wish to call.

More interesting, though, is the possibility of “alternative dispute resolution” – meeting with Ms Riley’s legal team in order to end the case without going to trial.

Courts take the view that litigation should be a last resort, and that claims should not be issued prematurely when it is possible for the parties to come to a settlement. If parties refuse to consider this option, then the court may penalise them when determining costs.

This was made clear in the ‘Pre-action Protocol for Defamation’ that Ms Riley’s lawyers sent me, almost a year ago.

But when my own legal team contacted them to discuss the case, they filed proceedings against me rather than take this reasonable step.

I’m still happy to have a chat about it.

It seems silly for Ms Riley to be determined to waste thousands of pounds forcing a trial in which her own behaviour will be dragged into the light, for all to see and condemn.

But, for the time being at least, it seems that is what she wants to do.

She still knows that I can only take the case to trial with your support, while she can rely on her TV-derived riches to, basically, buy a verdict against me.

If you think that it is unreasonable to force a trial when an alternative settlement is available, then please contribute to the CrowdJustice fund.

The only way to discourage Ms Riley from her apparent plan is to convince her that she can’t buy a verdict and faces the possibility of the facts being brought out in court.

Here’s how you can do that:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I’m offering Ms Riley a chance to avoid expensive court proceedings but so far she hasn’t taken it. To me, that seems to show that she is less interested in justice than in bullying a poor person.

If you agree, please give what you can to make sure she is foiled.

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Now we know Boris Johnson is selling the NHS to America, who gets your vote?

This is conclusive: the 2019 general election is now a fight for the survival of the National Health Service.

In a press conference, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn brandished 451 pages of government papers detailing trade talks between the Conservative government and the Trump administration in the USA.

They make it clear that Mr Johnson will sell the NHS to US-based private companies if he wins the election on December 12:

According to the papers, “total market access” for US companies to all UK service sectors is the baseline from which the trade talks will start.

It is also worth noting that the US demand no mention of climate change in any deal – so if Mr Johnson is elected, the UK’s commitment to carbon neutrality, by any date, will be canclled. Apparently BoJob wants to see us burn.

Mr Trump and his people want a “no deal” Brexit – so any claim by Mr Johnson that he is going to agree a deal with the EU seems to be a lie.

And the talks cover a range of other sectors including financial services, the British film industry, UK nursing qualifications, workers’ rights, data privacy, pesticide control, sugar content labelling and even gender discrimination rules. These represent a major power-grab.

International trade secretary Liz Truss has responded by saying that Mr Corbyn is “out-and-out lying to the public about what these documents contain”. But that’s a hard stance to maintain when he handed out copies to members of the press.

According to the BBC, Mr Johnson also said the claims were “total nonsense”.

But Mr Corbyn has an impeccable record of honesty while Mr Johnson has been exposed as a liar, time and time again. Here are a few examples:

If Jeremy Corbyn says Boris Johnson is in the process of selling off the NHS, then I believe him – and I think you should too.

This election has become a choice between accepting a hugely-expensive US-style insurance-based health system that will keep you sick and bankrupt you while doing so – under Boris Johnson, or a restored NHS, fully public, and free at the point of use – under Jeremy Corbyn.

If you value your health, you must tell our politicians that our NHS is not for sale.

Those of you who think voting for another party – especially the Liberal Democrats – will help achieve this should think again. The Lib Dems helped inflict privatisation on the health service during the Coalition government and cannot be trusted not to get right back in bed with the Tories if they have a chance.

So who are you going to elect? A Labour Party that is telling you the facts? Or the lying Tories who’ll sell your health for pennies?

Source: Corbyn reveals secret documents that ‘confirm Tory plot to sell off NHS in US trade talks with Trump’ | The Independent

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Boris Johnson’s big NHS meltdown

After their campaign on law and order dissolved into chaos, the Tories tried to take the moral high ground on health. It didn’t work.

Most particularly, it didn’t work for Boris Johnson, who was challenged on the subject by prime minister-in-waiting Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Mr Corbyn was keen for Mr Johnson to explain why his government had held secret trade talks with US firms that would nearly triple the price of medicines bought by the NHS, creating serious pressure on the service at a time when it is already under enormous strain.

I discuss the issue here, or you can watch this video to have it in a nutshell:

Note also that “drug pricing” is now to be known as “valuing innovation”. And, as a TV comedian once said, from now on radiation will be known as “magic moonbeams”.

Here’s Mr Corbyn, opening his questioning in PMQs – and Mr Johnson’s answer:

Of course, Mr Corbyn was well aware of the situation regarding the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi; it was his intervention that succeeded in getting it provided on the NHS, we’re told.

Mr Johnson’s claims about building 40 new hospitals fare less well in the fact-check. As Mr Corbyn put it: “As for the fabled 40 hospitals, that figure dropped to 20 and then finally dropped to six.” They’ll be down to none in the event of a Conservative election victory.

Mr Corbyn continued: “We learned this week that Government officials have met US pharmaceutical companies five times as part of the Prime Minister’s planned trade deal. The US has called for “full market access” to our NHS, which would mean prices of some of our most important medicines increasing by up to sevenfold. While the Government are having secret meetings with US corporations, it is patients here who continue to suffer.”

And he said: “Of course we need to import medicines from various places; I just want it to be done in an open and transparent way. I do not want secret talks between Government officials, on behalf of Ministers, and big pharma corporations in the USA.”

He slammed Tory privatisation of NHS services, which has skyrocketed with more than £10 billion being frittered away to private companies and their shareholders, rather than supporting the health of UK citizens.

He said: “What we do not want is private companies like Virgin Care suing our NHS for contracts that they did not get. Our NHS should be focused on making people better, not making the wealthy few richer.

“National health service A&E departments have just had their worst September on record. This morning, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said that this winter the NHS needs more than 4,000 extra beds.” But under Boris Johnson’s government, he said, the number of people in England waiting for an operation has now reached a record high of 4.4 million.

He continued as follows:

And he concluded: “Despite the Prime Minister’s denials, the NHS is up for grabs by US corporations in a Trump trade deal. Is it not the truth—the Government may not like this—that this Government are preparing to sell out our NHS? Our health service is in more danger than at any other time in its glorious history because of the Prime Minister’s Government, his attitudes and the trade deals that he wants to strike.”

It is indeed the truth.

Mr Johnson spluttered on for a while but the best he could do in his defence was quote a discredited CBI claim that Labour would spend nearly £200 billion on a privatisation programme; the CBI itself has admitted that the claim was based on questionable assumptions and withdrawn it.

He lied that Labour would tax corporations, people, pensions and businesses – in fact Labour will only increase taxes on the people earning the most, who are therefore most able to accommodate such a charge.

And he said Labour would condemn the UK to two more referendums – on Brexit and Scottish independence. He neglected to say that he would consign us all to even more Brexit uncertainty as he would try – yet again – to push through a departure on the worst possible terms for the majority of the nation.

Finally, he appears to have become tongue-tied in his predictions of the future, mixing the roles of his party and Mr Corbyn’s.

I’ll fix that for him now:

“That is the future for this country: drift and dither under the Conservative party, or taking Britain forward to a brighter future under Labour. That is the choice this country faces.”

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Shock revelation: Liar Boris Johnson has been secretly selling out the NHS

Boris Johnson has been selling out the National Health Service in negotiations on a trade deal that would allow US companies to set drug prices, it has been claimed.

The revelation about these secret talks could not come at a worse time for the Tory government, as it prepares to dissolve Parliament and launch a general election campaign.

This is electoral poison for the Conservatives as Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock and international trade secretary Liz Truss have all insisted that the NHS is “off the table” in talks with the US if the UK leaves the European Union.

The threat is that NHS finances would be put at risk by a trade deal with the US that would force the health service to buy more expensive drugs.

And there is evidence that it is an overarching Tory policy to lay the NHS open to exploitation by US pharmaceutical monopolies, as the talks began under Theresa May (who also lied about them) but have continued under Mr Johnson.

Who will vote for a government that is bad for our health – and deliberately lies about the harm it is doing?

Here’s the information from Channel 4’s Dispatches:

The Independent has reported that more than one-third of people surveyed in a recent poll said they were “very concerned” about the future impact of a deal with Washington on the NHS.

Meanwhile, Tories like Michael Gove have apparently been lying through their teeth (metaphorically, on Twitter)…

… and the public isn’t having any of it:

The message for the general election is clear:

Your NHS is not safe with Boris Johnson – or any of his Conservative liars.

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Did the EU just reject TWO Boris Johnson requests – only one of which involved Ireland?

The European Union has refused to entertain a call by Boris Johnson for a Brexit deal without the so-called Northern Irish border “backstop”.

In so doing, one may conclude that the EU has also rejected Mr Johnson’s call for Brexit negotiations to be carried out in secret.

And quite right too.

The man This Site calls BoJob has been trying to hoodwink the British people left, right and centre since he was hired as Tory leader (and PM by default) back in July.

His latest gambit was for negotiations on a new Brexit deal to be held in secret. We may expect that he was hoping to foist the details on us at the last minute, so our Parliamentary representatives would have little choice but to accept their terms, in order to meet the October 31 deadline to which he is determined to hold us.

I’m not sure how that idea is supposed to work, as a rejection by Parliament means it’s back to the drawing-board; “no deal” is now forbidden.

At least we may take it that all cards are on the table, for the time being. Or am I mistaken?

The European Union has rejected a request from the British government for a Brexit deal without an Irish backstop.

A leaked diplomatic note drawn up by EU officials and given to member state diplomats and MEPs [stated:]

“In addition to not providing legally operational solutions, such concepts [presented by the UK] fall short of satisfying all the objectives of the backstop: avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland, protecting the all-island economy and North-South cooperation, and preserving the integrity of the single market and Ireland’s place in it,” the note says.

“It is the United Kingdom’s responsibility to come forward with legally operational solutions that are compatible with the withdrawal agreement. The union remains available to examine and discuss any such proposals.”

Source: EU rejects Boris Johnson request for Brexit deal without Irish backstop | The Independent

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Labour-Tory Brexit talks have failed. Now for the recriminations

Labour has announced that attempts to find an acceptable compromise that will allow Parliament to deliver Brexit have failed, and This Writer is relieved.

Any government trying to act on the result of the EU referendum – as designed by David Cameron – can only fail to satisfy the voting public.

Remainers will be alienated by attempts to decouple from the EU on the basis of a plebiscite that could only – legally – be advisory. Leavers are so divided over the manner of the UK’s departure that a majority of them will be unhappy about any plan put to Parliament.

As the political party that forced the issue (concerns about the EU were a low priority among the UK’s electorate prior to 2015), the Conservatives appear to have sown the seeds of their own doom – in my opinion.

So I saw the offer of cross-party talks as an attempt to spread – or indeed transfer – the blame: Get a deal with Labour and then blame Labour for all its unpopular parts.

But now Labour has terminated the talks. Jeremy Corbyn explained his reasons in a letter to Theresa May, published on LabourList:

“It has become clear that, while there are some areas where compromise has been possible, we have been unable to bridge important policy gaps between us,” he wrote.

“Even more crucially, the increasing weakness and instability of your government means there cannot be confidence in securing whatever might be agreed between us.

“As you have been setting out your decision to stand down and Cabinet ministers are competing to succeed you, the position of the government has become ever more unstable and its authority eroded. Not infrequently, proposals by your negotiating team have been publicly contradicted by statements from other members of the Cabinet.

“In recent days we have heard senior Cabinet ministers reject any form of customs union, regardless of proposals made by government negotiators. And despite assurances we have been given on protection of environmental, food and animal welfare standards, the International Trade Secretary has confirmed that importing chlorinated chicken as part of a US trade deal remains on the table.

“After six weeks of talks, it is only right that the Government now wishes again to test the will of Parliament, and we will carefully consider any proposals the Government wishes to bring forward to break the Brexit deadlock.

“However, I should reiterate that, without significant changes, we will continue to oppose the Government’s deal as we do not believe it safeguards jobs, living standards and manufacturing industry in Britain.”

I made my own feelings on the matter clear, on Twitter:

 

After the talks, the recriminations. Despite Mr Corbyn’s assertion (once again) that the talks were carried out in good faith, already accusations are being made that he was doing nothing more than “shadow-boxing”. He has refuted those claims on BBC news:

And the Evening Standard has published a claim that Mr Corbyn discussed a plan to leave the EU on July 31, denying the opportunity of a second – confirmatory – referendum to those who want it. The implied accusation against Mr Corbyn is nonsense, for reasons I’ll detail below – but you should see the claim first:

“The plan involves:

  • Free votes for MPs in which they would rank in order of preference five different forms of customs arrangements with the EU, ranging from a full permanent trade pact to a looser or temporary arrangement. The aim is to force the Commons, which has rejected every option shown so far, to a decision.
  • A free vote on making any deal subject to a second referendum, which appears designed to block the campaign backed by 150 Labour MPs for a confirmatory ballot attached to any deal.
  • Whipped votes on other areas where the two sides appear to have reached agreement, including to keep European worker rights and green standards.

“The leaked memo, shown to the Evening Standard, was sent to Labour on Wednesday.

“However, a senior Labour source insisted that the document was not approved by Mr Corbyn and no decision had been made by Labour on the form of votes to be staged.”

It is ludicrous for anyone to claim that this shows Mr Corbyn colluding in a plan to shut the electorate out of having a say on the final form of Brexit.

In fact, it is entirely possible that this is the proposal that caused him to give up on the talks.

Think about it: he resumed negotiations on Tuesday, the proposal was put to Labour on Wednesday and now, on Friday, he has pulled out.

That indicates opposition rather than collusion, and we should question very closely the behaviour of anyone suggesting otherwise. Shouldn’t we, Labour MP Alex Sobel?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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